Sunday, March 29, 2009

Salamanders and Barred Owls

For the first time this month, warm evening temperatures (+5 C) and rain coincided to trigger a wave of salamander migration. At 8:30 pm I walked out to the county road, adjacent to a known salamander breeding pool, and counted close to thirty Blue-spotted Salamanders and half a dozen Spotted Salamanders crossing the road.

In a week or two, the night air will be filled din of spring peepers and chorus frogs. Tonight, the only calls I heard were those of dueting Barred Owl, one of which called from a white cedar close to the road. The other was perhaps a kilometer away - I only heard it because of the silence of the frogs.

Barred Owls are known to exploit migrating salamanders, and other seasonally restricted food items. They didn't seem to be interested in marching salamanders tonight.

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